Hello Readers – I am combining fiction challenges this week.
First, over at What Pegman Saw (here) – Pegman is exploring Pico Duarte, Dominican Republic. The challenge is to write a fiction piece of 150 words (or less) inspired by the current location. I was pondering what to write about when the news came in that Genesis Suero, originally from the Dominican Republic, was crowned Miss New York (article is here).
And so for some fiction fun, I imagined that Genesis Suero, our Miss NY, wrote a letter to a U.S. Marine that came to her hometown around the time her mother was born back in 1965 (because in April 1965, U.S. military forces landed in the Dominican Republic for the fourth time in 58 years).
Part 1 (#wps fiction word count: 150)
Dear Mr. Smith,
Your grandfather was a hero to me. He came to Compartición, our hometown, in April 1965. My grandmother, mi abuela, told the story the same way every time: On a hazy, aguacero day she was late in her pregnancy when troops thundered the streets. Her water broke and she began screaming. This Marine, Smith, came to her, unable to speak Spanish, he stared into her eyes, placed his hand on her shoulder and said, “It’s okay, it’s okay.”
Strength from his hand moved through her entire being – she called it “ratatá.”
The town doctor arrived and my mother was born. Later that night, Smith left chocolate bars, bread, and canned goods on the doorstep. I somehow feel his kindness trickled through mi familia and helped pave the way for me to be born.
Many thanks to your grandfather and all of your family,
Part 2 (#friday fictioneers word count: 100)
Mr. Smith, Enclosed you will find a photo that I would like you to place in your grandfather’s coffin. When he came back to visit the Dominican Republic, he took us to an amusement park and then we visited the statue of Juan Pablo Duarte, which involved a three-day mountainous hike with a mule. This allowed us to see part of the Caribbean we did not know existed. My grandmother said standing atop Pico Duarte was a peak experience for her. And this photo, which reminded her of that day, stayed on her nightstand for decades. Gracias again.
The Friday Fictioneers photo this week (here) was the amusement park photograph submitted by J Hardy Carroll, one of the hosts of What Pegman Saw (which was another sign that I should maybe combine challenges).
Dominican Spanish is a form of Caribbean Spanish noted for the fast speed and shortening of words. I chose two Dominican Spanish words for my fiction.
aguacero = rainy
ratatá = really cool
Thanks for reading my fiction musings….